Heading toward the playoffs, teams tend to round into the form one would expect to see. With seven weeks of prior work to go on, there was ample reason to expect a lot from the top-ranked teams among the RivalsHigh 100 heading into Week 8. In most cases, the teams expected to soar did, avoiding the kind of surprising setbacks that all but ended national title campaigns elsewhere.
• No 26 Anaheim (Calif.) Servite 21, No. 72 Orange County (Calif.) Lutheran 8: Servite's national title hopes were all but extinguished by a tough out-of-state loss to Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, but the school continues to prove that it's the class of Southern California -- and still among the nation's elite -- with performances like the beating it put on Orange County Lutheran on Friday night.
• No. 38 Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier 17, No. 45 Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward 10: This Catholic school face off was supposed to be both a litmus test about which team was a legitimate state title contender as well as which region provided a tougher proving ground to prepare the relative teams for the forthcoming state playoffs. It appears St. Xavier and Cincinnati win on both those counts after the Bombers dominated the Eagles' offense during the Saturday game in Cincinnati, sending St. Edward to a surprising second consecutive loss.
• No. 58 Carencro (La.) 28, Barbe (La.) 14: Carencro's defense was most concerned about avoiding giving up big plays. The Bears pulled that off, and as a result, avoided one of the team's biggest potential stumbling blocks for the rest of the season with a two-touchdown victory.
• No. 97 Everett (Mass.) 42, Xaverian Brothers (Mass.) 21: Everett is typically the class of Massachusetts football, but if a school is cracked up to give Everett a run for its money, that program is usually Xaverian Brothers. Not this year. The Crimson Tide flexed all its significant muscle to put distance between itself and Xaverian, eventually rolling to a 21-point win on the back of senior Vondell Langston's career-best 203-yard, two-touchdown performance.
• No. 77 Southlake (Texas) Carroll 27, Coppell (Texas) 10: Coppell may be a serious RivalsHigh 100 contender, but Carroll proved it is the real deal on Friday, with the Dragons mounting an impressive offensive performance en route to a 17-victory in a key Dallas-area face off that pushed the Dragons to an impressive 7-0 on the year.
• No. 48 Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro 35, Nevada Union (Calif.) 31: Del Oro may be one of the 50 best teams in the nation, but Del Oro knew it would be in for a tough battle against another of Northern California's best squads. In this case, quarterback Bobby Heatherington atoned for an untimely late interception by leading a game-winning drive in the game's closing minutes, going 5-for-5 on his final possession, including an all-important 5-yard touchdown pass. That's clutch.